Peters Township Sanitary Authority
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Dye Test Inspection Program

What Can I check for prior to a Dye Test?

The Sanitary Authority makes every effort to conduct, review, and issue test results in a professional and timely  manner. To minimize delays in the process, we ask that you spend some time prior to our scheduled visit to confirm if access is available for our staff. Please review the following prior to the test:

Checklist - Outside of the Structure:

  1. Provide access to any known cleanouts or vents that are along the existing building sewer. The building sewer is the privately owned line connecting the Sanitary Authority main line to your structure. Check the clean out cap. It must be above grade and have a cap.  If the cap is broken, missing, or below grade, the property will fail the test.

  2. Identify the discharge location of all roof leaders (downspouts). Once visually located, make sure that they are not clogged at the base or under the ground. Too often, our staff visits a site only to find that the lines are clogged and that the gutters cannot be tested. If the lines are blocked, the property will fail the test.

  3. Determine if a sanitary manhole is located on the property. Authority Resolution No. 98-7-1 states that it is the responsibility of the current homeowner to ensure that the manhole is not buried  or obstructed in any way as to inhibit free and clear access by Sanitary Authority personnel. If the manhole is buried or obstructed, the property will fail the test.

Checklist - Inside of the Structure:

  1. Ensure that water and electric service is available. Ensure suitable lighting exists as well.

  2. Should the plumbing of the structure be winterized, understand that the Sanitary Authority will be using water in certain fixtures to conduct the test and will not rewinterize those fixtures. The owner or representative on site is responsible for ensuring the fixtures are properly winterized after PTSA leaves the premises.

  3. Provide access to all sump pumps and floor drains. Move any personal items stored in the basement away from all plumbing fixtures and piping. If you have a sump pump, provide access to the pit, piping, and pump. Ensure that the pump is operational so that we can verify its point of discharge.

What is a Dye Test?

Dye Testing is a method of introducing dyed water onto and around the structure and grounds to determine if deficiencies are present in the building sewer or if there are prohibited connections to the sewer.

Testing identifies unwanted ground and rainwater that is infiltrating into the sewer, thereby overloading the sewage treatment plant during wet weather events.  Deficient building sewers also exfiltrate sewage into the ground or backup into your basement, thereby creating a health hazard. Left unchecked, infiltration will lead to spending millions of dollars in treatment plant expansions which consumers ultimately pay for.

My building sewer works fine.

Building sewers may work fine but still be in violation.  Root intrusion and cracked pipe will still allow sewage to flow but may allow ground water to enter the sewer system.

Why did my house fail?

Building sewers fail just like your hot water tank, dishwasher, or furnace.  They need regular maintenance and repair. 

Why do I need a Dye Test?

Township ordinance requires, prior to transfer of ownership, that the Sanitary Authority  test for and eliminate improper water infiltration into the sewer system.

How do I request a Dye Test?

Applications are available at our office.  Completed applications and payment are due prior to scheduling a Dye Test.

Who conducts the Test?

The Peters Township Sanitary Authority is the exclusive entity to perform dye testing for property transfer certification. Call 724-941-6709 to schedule a dye test at least two weeks prior to the anticipated closing date.

What is the cost of the test?

The cost of the dye test is $150.00, or  $200.00 if water is not available at the property.

Do I have to be home during the test?

Yes. The owner, or owner’s representative, must be present for the entire test.  We schedule two hours for the test.  Testing times may vary due to size of the property, weather conditions, and individual circumstances.

What if repairs are needed?

When a violation has been detected, the Sanitary Authority will notify the homeowner of the findings. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to have the violations corrected by a plumber or contractor of their choice. The property may not transfer ownership until the corrections are made and have been reinspected by the Sanitary Authority.  All violations must be corrected, even if the property transfer does not take place.